Benefits of Healthy Eating for Wheelchair Users
Being a wheelchair user isn’t easy. Many places, such as buildings and parking lots, aren’t built to accommodate people with personal mobility devices. Another lesser-known challenge for wheelchair users is staying fit and eating healthy. The Active Times reports that sitting for too long if you are abled can weaken your bones and muscles, which makes being sedentary a key concern for wheelchair users. This is because prolonged inactivity can increase your risk of developing comorbidities, like hypertension and diabetes.
Fortunately, eating right can play a big role when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing health risks. Here are a few examples of how healthy eating can benefit wheelchair users.
Healthy Eating Helps You Stay Energized
Fatigue among wheelchair users is common. This is usually caused by factors such as improper fitting of the wheelchair and sub-optimal sitting positions. Though some may turn to caffeine to boost their energy, it’s not an option for all wheelchair users. This is especially true for those with pre-existing conditions like GERD, epilepsy, and heart conditions like arrhythmias. Healthy eating helps boost and sustain your energy levels by having you eat regularly and frequently each day. When you skip meals, your body breaks down muscle tissue to give you the energy you need. And wheelchair use already contributes to muscle degeneration as it is. Healthy eating will give you nutrients to combat this and keep you energized throughout the day. The top foods to eat for energy are bananas, apples, fatty fish, eggs, and sweet potatoes.
You Can Manage Your Weight Better
Your best option is to find a nutritionist who has expertise in specialized diets. They will have an educational background in these areas, with many top universities now specializing in dietary fields. For example, Arizona State University’s Nutritional Science program focuses on the importance of evidence-based practices in both individualized and community approaches. Meanwhile, the program in healthcare studies from Maryville University provides a broad, high-level perspective on healthcare that focuses on blending ethics and diversity. This allows them to be more conscious of catering to those with movement difficulties. Many of these graduates go on to work as health educators in fields like diet and nutrition. One of these nutritionists who is skilled with diverse patient needs will be your best option for crafting a specific wheelchair-user diet.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, healthy eating for wheelchair users means a balanced diet. This will provide an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other compounds that will not only improve your health but make you feel happier and more energetic, as well.
If possible, pairing healthy eating with regular exercise through Wheelchair Fitness will produce the most optimal effects.
The professionals here at Redman Power Chair have made fitness more accessible to wheelchair users than ever. The positioning chair allows for improved movement and core strength that other chairs simply cannot provide. Now, you can work toward a healthier you at your own pace and experience improved energy and other clinical benefits! Contact Redman Power Chair for your FREE demo today!
Written by Margaret Hardy for Redman Power Chair